Saturday, December 26, 2009

So this is Christmas…

I haven't blogged in a while. What's with that? I've felt uninspired, uninteresting and entirely unremarkable lately which does not equal anything you all want to read about. Things have been happening too. I planned and pulled off a successful Christkindlmarket at work. It was so busy we ran out of fries half way through the day which is really saying something. I've made some new friends at work; always a plus. I got stranded for four days and three nights in Leesburg this past weekend in the blizzard of 09. That was fun. Today is Christmas; I got a DVD about how to tap dance taught by Bonnie Franklin.
However I remain uninspired, which is not a good way to be.

Over the summer there were times when I felt so full of creative energy that I just had to creates something or I would explode. Have you ever felt that way? Like, if you don't do something or make something or sing something or dance around your room or write a story or draw something, that you are going to burst? That led to some ok blogs, since I can't dance, draw, and probably shouldn't sing. I used to hate that feeling, because whatever I came up with to relieve the feeling, it usually did not end up being as great as I thought it should, given my pent up energy.

I don't think I'm explaining this very well. It's like when you get a craving for a certain food and nothing is going to be satisfying until you eat that very specific food. Or when you start thinking of one of your favorite movies, and then you can't stop thinking of it until you just break down and watch it again, or buy it if you don't already own it. That happened to me once back in Morgantown with a movie I had not even seen yet. My roommate Dawn and I were on a Leanardo DiCaprio kick and she started talking about Gangs of New York, a movie I had always wanted to see but never had. It got to the point where if I did not see this movie that very night, I was going to tear my hair out, so Dawn and I went on a mission to find the movie. We literally searched the entire town, looking at every store that had movies, neglecting the one place it was certainly going to be because we thought Best Buy would be too expensive. In the end I had to get it at Best Buy, and it wasn't expensive, and totally worth it. I love that movie. So anyway, that's sort of like that feeling I used to get, except with creative energy instead of movies. Is this normal or does this just happen to me? I would not be surprised if it were the latter, I'm a weirdo sometimes.

The moral of this story (well not moral, point rather) is that I've not felt this way in a long time. It's safe to say I've not felt annoyingly inspired in months, and I'm starting to miss the feeling. November was not bad since I had my Nano story going on, but even by the end of the month I was losing steam. Why is this I wonder? Is it because I just got into school and subconsciously I'm freaking out that I won't be a good enough writer to earn my MA? That's possible. Is work stressing me out? Who knows? What could it be? That feeling I used to hate is the one I wish I could get back. Isn't that always the case?

I need to start thinking of some New Years resolutions. I like making them up but rarely keep them. Last year I made up about 9 I think for 2009, but they were lame things like 'actually watch Top Gun' and 'wear more hats.' I did actually watch Top Gun though, which is nice. Before I used to lie and say 'oh yeah I love Top Gun,' when in reality all I had seen was the volleyball scene. This year I need to make some better ones, which is what I say every year. I think one of them should be to write every day. That's the only way to get better, says the world. I can't argue with the world. Actually, I can, which might be something worth writing about. Anything's worth writing about. Everything's worth writing about. The world is worth writing about.

Maybe it's the winter that's getting me down. Winter never used to get me down, but then again this entire weird year off from school has been full of things that never used to happen.



Friday, December 11, 2009

Bye Bye Monkey

I canceled my Netflix the other day. I was so upset about stopping it that I didn’t even write down my last categories, nor look at them. Too sad. However, one good thing is that they keep your queue saved for two whole years from when you canceled, so I can always go back. I will miss you Netflix, I never thought I’d see the day when we were to part ways, but alas, that day has come. I miss you already.

Why did I cancel my Netflix if I love it so much? Because, as my dear friend Jen informed me, they do not have Netflix in England. Why does that matter? BECAUSE I’M GOING TO LIVE THERE! That’s why!

I got into Oxford Brookes, that school I feel like I’ve been applying to for at least a year now. Last Thursday was my phone interview which went very well, and a few days later I got the e-mail confirming that I have been offered a position in the MA in Creative Writing course. I am so excited; I can’t even write any sort of insightful blog about it. This is just me regurgitating what I’m thinking. EXCITED! Is it sad that I’m going to school for writing and I can’t even write something thoughtful about getting into my dream school? Probably, but that’s ok. That is what school is for, to make me better.

Here is my plan for the next year of my life, eloquently put into works by my dear Aunt Petrina:

"Adventurous, free spirited girl attends grad school in Oxford, England. Meets English boy while working in tiny bookstore to supplement her tuition. Boy and girl fall in love but know that they only have a short time together. Girl graduates with highest honors and accolades and moves back home, all the while promising her love to boy. Time passes. Boy and girl lose touch. Girl goes on to write best-selling novel inspired by her time in England and with boy. Boy shows up at girl's book signing in NYC. They live happily ever after, traveling the world together."

I like it. I mean, I don’t really want to lose touch with future dream boy for the amount of time it takes to write a book, so years, but it does make for a good story so why not?

Speaking of writing books, I need to get back to mine. I’m so close to finishing, it’s unreal. This will be the first Nano story I’ve ever completed, the longest single story I’ve ever written (getting around 200 pages) and my favorite storyline of all time, once completed. Nicole gave me a deadline of December 12th to finish so I can send it to her with enough time for her to read it by New Years, and that day is tomorrow. I better get cracking.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Food Lies

Nano’s over, I won. The last few days have been rather wonderful, being able to do anything after work instead of the only option being to write. Don’t get me wrong, I obviously love to write or I would not have done NanoWrimo in the first place, but after a month of stressing about being behind on my word count every day and loosing inspiration, it’s nice to not have to write. Like last night, I actually got to read, imagine that? There is defiantly no room for reading in November, but now it’s December, so bring it on Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I’m on book one of six, recommended to me by my little cousin Nathan and just about every pre-teen boy on the planet.

I have an hour right now, an hour until my phone interview with Oxford Brookes. It was supposed to happen Thanksgiving day at this time. Unfortunately it didn’t, but with good reason. So here I am, a week later, waiting for my call, trying not to throw up. Last week I freaked out and said to my mom, “what if they ask me what my favorite book is and I forget? Or who my favorite authors are and I can’t remember?” She rolled her eyes and responded, “Then why don’t you go get all your favorite books and put them in a stack on your desk so you can’t forget?” So that’s what I did. It is comforting to be surrounded by my favorite books, all right there in front of me, reassuring me that I will survive the interview. Cyrano De Bergerac’s there to give me a little panache, The Princess Bride to make me funny, Harry Potter to remind me what a good book can do to the world, In Cold Blood so I don’t forget the power of a true story and To Kill a Mockingbird because it’s just so damn good.

I still have about 40 minutes to kill. Last time I wrote I was on my way to Wisconsin. So that happened, and it was fantastic. Mary and I only left the apartment to eat, spending most of our time watching the entire first and only season of Firefly, a SiFi Cowboy show everyone has been telling me to watch for ages and I just never got around go seeing. They were right; the show seemed to be engineered to be exactly something I would love. It was great being able to just sit around and watch TV and eat Chilly Cheese dip, I have not had the time to lounge around like that in ages.

Ok, so I exaggerated. We did leave the apartment a little more than just at meal times. Mary took me to her work place, Epic Systems. This place pretends to be a complex of office buildings, when in reality it’s a playground for adults. Each hallway has a different theme, be it Indiana Jones, Africa, the Metro or a conference room that is an actual tree house named Endor. They just built a new Asian themed building and were working on a Dungeon and Dragon’s themed building when I was there. Why don’t I work there again? No idea really, I like cold weather.

Mary and I also walked around downtown Madison and campus, which is always fun. Madison is a nice place; I really do need to come visit again in the summer time. I got to finally meet Mary’s boyfriend Michael who I’ve been hearing about for ages. He was totally cool, gets my seal of approval. I was sad to leave that Saturday but excited to get to Milwaukee and my Molly.

After two hours on a bus I made it to Milwaukee, a very different place than Madison. When I first got into Wisconsin and was taking the bus from Chicago to Madison, the state was not at its best. It was raining and gross outside, dark and dreary, wet and soggy. I got lucky the rest of the weekend; it was unusually warm and sunny. Molly and I dropped off my junk and then went to get sandwiches at a little anything-can-be-made-vegan place. I always seem to end up places like that with Molly, which is totally cool, as was evident the next night with a table full of different types of Meatloaf.

Molly and I did lots, including finishing my Firefly weekend by watching the movie they made after the show was canceled, Serenity. SPOLIER ALERT!! WHY Wash? Honestly, why do my favorite characters always end up dying? So abruptly too, and then no one even cared! Not even his badass wife with amazing hair and lips. Hahah, good movie.

Molly is one of those friends I always end up doing things with that I would have never imagined myself doing otherwise. Example: we went to see Peaches my first night in town. I will not go into detail about what sort of a band Peaches is, seeing as grandparents frequent this blog, but if you are really interested, look her up. I will say I have never had so much fun at a concert before where I did not know the band at all or any of the songs. She was fantastic, I actually danced. PEACHES WALKS ON YOU!

We walked through this one section of Milwaukee that was totally old school Germany and it freaked me out. People told me before I left that Milwaukee had a huge German community, but I was not expecting all the Hofbräu banners and Oktoberfest things. It was like I didn’t even leave Leesburg :-) Also, news to me, the place we get our Bratwursts, Usingers, is from Milwaukee. I saw their factory! WEIRD. That day we also hung out for a while with a bronze statue of The Fonz. Aaayyyy! Why bronze The Fonz you ask? Why not?

The last stop on my trip was the highest point in Milwaukee, a park with a view of the entire city. Molly and I sat on a bench, my hair freshly French braided the way only Molly can do it, and watched the hazy skyline in the cold November air. I really wanted to put her in my pocket and take her back to Lovettsville with me. Luckily our goodbye did not have to be a sad one because she came back for Thanksgiving, and I will see her again at Christmas.

So, after a wonderful weekend of talking Mary and Molly’s ears off, I ended up back in Virginia, welcomed with rain and work the next morning, as well as a NanoWrimo story I was around 10,000 words behind on writing. Somehow I made it to 50k, somehow, and now I’m happily trying to finish the actual story, but in a much more relaxed pace. December is good.

Alright, back to the nervousness. I can’t wait for England to call me! Wish me luck!



Friday, November 20, 2009


I think everyone should be required to have a job in customer service at least once in their lives, any customer service. As much as I tend to hate it at times (not too often, but it happens), I really think it has helped me in the long run. I really appreciate helpful people now, more than I did before, because I know it’s not hard to be helpful. It’s not hard to smile while you are helping someone, putting them at ease even if you don’t know what you are talking about. And I know how it feels to actually help make someone’s day better, and it’s a good feeling. Therefore, now, when I encounter unhelpful people or establishments, I cannot understand why they are that way. It makes the customer AND the server’s day better when everyone is just polite and helpful, so why don’t we all try acting like that, all right world?

I’m at the airport right now (surprise surprise) waiting for my flight to Chicago where I will catch a bus to Madison to visit my lovely cousin Mary, and a few days later bum a ride to Milwaukee to see my dear friend Molly. It’s 5:55am. I’m tired. I got up at 3:30am. Thanks Mom and Dad for the ride, and wake up call. And believe it or not, I did not have a bad experience with anyone working here, despite my trouble finding my gate or any information about said gate in general. It did not show up on any of the screens I encountered, neither did any other Southwest flights, which was extremely disconcerting. Unfortunately, at the crack of crack in the morning, the people at the information desks don’t feel the need to be at their information desks, which was not helpful.

However, after lots of wandering around, wondering why I should ever have a problem finding my way in Dulles Airport given the sheer number of times I’ve been here and hoping I did not get the wrong day or something, I finally found a helpful flight attendant (the littlest flight attendant of them all, she was really cute) who pointed me in the right direction. I guess her helpfulness made me think about how much worse being lots in a gigantic airport with no gate number would have been had she been rude or inpatient. I will try to remember this next time I am at work and someone comes in, doesn’t look at the menu at all and asks me for two cheese hot dogs and some BBQ. Now here I am in gate B50, and I have an hour till I’m airborne.

I just saw a women walk by with lights on the wheels of her suitcase. They were inside the wheels and blinked and changed colors when she wheeled it. Honestly, on a coolness scale of one to ten, ten being the highest, that suitcase has to be an eleven. And no mother, that is not a Spinal Tap reference. I need to get me one of those. Or just the wheels anyway, I have sweet luggage.

Ohhhhh nooooo, a mother with four small children, all boys, just sat down in my gate. How much do you want to bet I’m going to be sitting between them somehow, just my luck. If one of them gives me the swine, there will be hell to pay. Mark my words; I will not get the swine, much less from a small, sticky child.

I will not be posting this from the airport, even though they have wireless, because I will not be paying 6 bucks for two hours. Honestly, why isn’t the entire world a free WiFi zone by now?

I’m listening to the soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire right now, feeling a little badass, because that’s just how that soundtrack makes you feel. Try it, it’s great. All I need are some aviator sunglasses and a backpack I have not had since middle school with my initials on it. Sigh.

All right, I should probably be writing my story instead of a blog and times a wastin’. I hope everyone reading this got to sleep in and has a wonderful day!



Monday, November 16, 2009

I don’t think the dog likes my music.

I’m at my grandmother and granddaddy’s house again, pet sitting.


That’s me right now. I thought I would do another picture blog since I seem to be on a roll procrastinating the 4000 words I need to write tonight.

Dad got really excited about Knee High Grape today. Not as excited about the BBQ.

Bikes. Looks like a hobbit might jump out of the trees and yell "get off the road!" but with too much pavement.

This is a house I want to live in. Obviously not in it's current state, but, if it were possible to fit it up, I would. I am in love with this house.

My cats are always so cute.

Ok, back to my story. I'm killing off a character tonight that I created just to kill (dad says his name should be Guy, but it's Ben), but I’ve never fictionally killed someone before. However, he must die. I cannot keep his accent up much longer.

"When vacation was over
the word was all over
that I was a crack whore
melissa had told them
and so now were not talking
except we have tickets
to see blur in october
and I think were still going

Monday, November 9, 2009

Are my buns straight?

I’ve done some pretty nerdy things in my time. I’ve gone to a Harry Potter book release and waited 4 hours for the new book, gone on a bunch of Lord of the Rings tours in New Zealand on two separate trips, worn matching, handmade t-shirts to a Police concert, bought Oscar Wilde a rainbow rose and been to Hobbiton, but tonight may have topped them all. Tonight I went to see Star Wars in Concert with my mother, aunt and grandmother a the Scope Arena in Norfolk, VA, and it was fanfreakentastic times infinity.

I dusted off my old Princess Leia costume to wear and mom and I rooted through my costume collection to find all the other Star Wars themed ones. Mom went as Obi-Wan, Auntie Petrina as Queen Amidala and Grandma, the last minute thrown together costume, went as farm boy Luke Skywalker. We were not sure if people really did dress up for this thing or now, we searched the internet for clues, but in the end we decided that we really didn’t care. It’s a Star Wars concert, no one going to that had any room for fun making.

We were a hit the moment we stepped inside the doors. Other people had dressed up, but none as good we us! There were tons of tiny Darth Vaders, Jedi and Stormtroopers running around. I wanted to gather all the Imperial children into a group and take a picture with them all pointing guns at me, but no such luck. One tiny Darth Vader did sort of agree to take his picture with me, so cute.

I have never posed for so many strangers pictures in my whole life. Everywhere we went it was ‘look, its Princess Leia!’ and ‘can I get a picture with you?’ I really felt like a celebrity. Now I know how Nicole felt in NYC last year when the little girl thought she was a real princess. My favorite little girl said “I am always you when we play!” Her brother was not so eloquent. He stuck with, “I’m Boba Fett.” Ya, no kidding kid, you think I’m dressed up as the Princess and don’t know who Boba Fett is? Anyway, we posed with grownups, kids and other costumed people all night long and it was like I had died and gone to a galaxy far far away.

One guy, the exact type of guy that always seem to be drawn to me that I’ve mentioned before, came up to us when we were in the merchandise line. He had on a retro Star Wars shirt, tucked in of course, no hair and a few light sabers. He looked me up and down and said, “oh hello…”

Him- (waves hand in front of my face) You will go out with me…

Me- Sorry, your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me.

Him- aw, it was worth a try.

Seriously, it was. If it weren’t for the fact that he was in his late thirties, tried to tell me we had a Qui-Gon Lightsaber when clearly it was Luke’s second one, had his t-shirt tucked in and was creepy, I might have been impressed. He found us again later to take our picture, and then we saw him AGAIN when we were leaving, but to his credit, he did not creep on us anymore. Thanks man. May the force be with you.

So, all this happened before we even got to our seats. The concert was really incredible. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plus a choir plus ANTHONY DANIALS narrating plus laser lights and a huge screen equals the best night of my life. They played highlights from all the movies and full songs from each of the 6 movies, all of which gave me Goosebumps (especially with the choir) and were accompanied by introductions by C3-PO himself.

One thing that made this extra awesome for me were seeing the movie clips on the big screen. Sure, I’ve seen the three new Star Wars a bunch of times each in theaters, no big deal. BUT, the old three, the ORIGINAL three, the best three, I never got to see in theaters because I was either not born yet or not old enough. These movies have been such a huge part of my life, and tonight I actually got to see parts of them on the big screen, the way movies are meant to be seen. That alone made the night unforgettable. When Leia says to a pre-carbon-freeze Han, “I love you” and he responds, “I know,” I totally teared up.

After the concert there was a place set up with all sorts of original Star Wars costumes and props, including THE Han Solo in Carbonate. I almost died. That is as close as I will ever get to Harrison Ford, the first love of my life. Swoon. I posed with more people, got my picture taken with all the costumed actors walking around including Boba Fett, a Stormtrooper who let me hold his gun and an Imperial guard. We stayed until the security guards were literally yelling in our faces to leave (jerks) and I spent the car ride home day dreaming about actually living in the Star Wars galaxy, having a Wookie best friend and flying Xwings like I did when I was a little kid.

Here are the rest of my pictures:

Goodnight and may the force be with you, always.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fruma Sarah Fruma Sarah!

I had the weirdest dream last night, or maybe it was this morning after my alarm went off and I realized I did not have to actually get up. That’s the time when I get the best dreams, I think because I’m so incredibly happy that I don’t have to be awake, or so upset that I do, that it messes with my subconscious and produces short yet vivid dreams.

“All right, this was my dream…in the beginning I dreamt…” That James and I ran away. I don’t know why or how, but we did. And this was not current, tattoo James, it was middle school James. I think I was still 22, but he was defiantly younger. Unimportant. Anyway, we ran away and ended up at Neil Gaiman’s house, in his basement on a couch. This may have come about because I have been feeling bad lately for not reading American Gods like I started to. It is awesome so far, but it’s not November, and thus I have no time for reading, only writing writing writing. So, we slept in the basement, then in the morning I could hear kids upstairs and I woke up by myself, so I guess James went upstairs to talk to everyone (whoever else was up there, Amamda Palmer and his daughter perhaps? I swear I’m not a creepy stalker, I just read his blog). James was being all cool about the situation, talking to everyone while I was too scared to go upstairs and talk to anyone. Eventually Mr. Gaiman came downstairs and talked to me, and I was literally falling over myself because I was so nervous. Whoever said you are braver in your dreams lied.

However, despite my crazy behavior, he was extremely nice. I can’t remember now what we talked about, but it ended weird. He saw how nervous I was, so he took me around the back of his house somehow, although I don’t remember walking or moving in any way, we were just there, and pointed to a bag through a door window. He told me to go inside and get a Xanax to make me feel better. Weird weird weird weird. Not wanting to look lame, although I have never had Xanax before and did not really want to start, I went into the room and started looking for it. I think at this point I realized it was a dream and that it did not matter what I took or did not take. However before I found it he knocked on the door saying something along the lines of ‘put it away my daughter is coming and I don’t want her to see.’ And that’s all I remember.

So those are the types of dreams I get. Not cool ones about space travel or being a Jedi (I did have one of those years ago, it was AWESOME); I get random dreams about famous people I LOVE where I don’t even get dream-confidence when meeting them and just end up looking like an idiot. Lovely. Most of the time I don’t even remember my dreams. I wish I could dream about my NaNoWriMo story so I could get a little inspiration up in here.

Speaking of my story, I’ve had a really poor start to my Nano November. The first day of November I was so excited to start my story. I had spend my entire Halloween morning with my notebook, not quite planning things out, but at least writing notes about important details of my new magical world. On the morning of November 1st I put on my new Script Frenzy shirt, sweat pants (the proper attire for writing), and my new ‘I believe in fairies’ locket that Nicole got me, for inspiration. She gets credit for the shirt too (thanks Nicole!). Best presents ever.

Anyway, I was really excited to start writing. I hoped in the car and drove to Leesburg because Beans in the Belfry was on a parade route in Brunswick. Distraught, because that’s really where I pictured myself getting stuff done, I instead headed for Greenbriers because I did not feel like parallel parking at Shoes. Coffee shops around here have weird names. SO I was happy, driving, and in a splendid mood.

Then I got in a car wreck.

I am not going into detail about it because all the insurance stuff is still happening. All I will say is that I am determined that I am 100% not at fault, but my lack of witnesses is working against me. The car still works, I can still drive it, but the passenger side door is all banged up and needs to be replaced. MY POOR CAR! Oh, and I’m fine by the way. No injuries on either side. Still, not happy about it all. It really killed my day, got me off writing to a bad start, and now my poor car door whistles when I drive around turns.

I’m sorry to Grandmother, who when she called me the other day and asked ‘so how are things going?’ I replied, ‘oh just great.’ I did not have it in me at the moment to tell her I wrecked the car that used to be hers, that she still stays was her favorite car ever. I’m sorry.

Now it’s the weekend. I finally got to 10k word count last night, I had to write about 4000 words to get there, but I did it. Nicole is still beating me by about 2000 words, jerk, but I will totally catch up somehow. I’m at my grandparent’s house right now, mom’s side, hanging out. The Star Wars concert is tomorrow night. Mom and I listened to all my favorite songs on the Star Wars soundtracks on my ipod on the drive down here to get in the mood. I am so pumped.

Ok, I’m going to go visit.

"You must have heard wrong Grandma
There's no tailor
You mean the butcher Grandma
By the name of Lazer-Wolfe"


Friday, October 30, 2009

I forgot to write about Beth

Greetings from the Friday before Halloween 2009. This time last year Nicole and I were on a bus (or on our way to get on a bus) to New York City, where we took the city by storm as Giselle and Princess Leia in an epic romp all over Central Park and the Trump building, accompanied by our faithful side kick Mandy affectionately dubbed Nancy for the day (Patrick Dempsey’s fiancé in ‘Enchanted.’ It only made sense because Mandy was wearing black and Nicole was Giselle). Nicole got mistaken (not so mistakenly) by a tiny little girl in a castle in the middle of Central Park for a real princess, which I still think is one of the highlights of her life, and everyone thought I was Mother Teresa because I had not gotten my hair quite right. It was a glorious day as you can well imagine.

I wanted to say a few words about Halloween tonight, because it is my favorite holiday and as such deserves a blog devoted to it before it even happens. When I was in elementary school, I think one of the first grades, I came to school on Halloween dressed up as a princess. At least I think I was a princess, I know I had on some sort of frilly pink dress and was looking quite adorable. I could have been a fairy. Anyway, I got to school all excited for a Halloween party we were having in my class. However, what was tiny fairy Maria to find when she got to her class room that faithful day in Lovettsville Elementary school, a school that was supposedly full of love? No costumes. Excuse me if I was lead to believe that everyone was going to dress up for a Halloween party, silly me. I cried and cried. I don’t remember the actual events as much as I remember what it felt like; I think that was my first real encounter with debilitating embarrassment. I can’t remember any details, whether everyone laughed, if I had to stay dressed up all day, or if my teacher said anything to me to stop me from crying, I just remember the tears.

Ever since then, I’ve always dressed up for Halloween. Why, I have no idea. I guess that the switch in normal little girls heads that would have instantly switched to ‘HATE HALLOWEEN FOREVER’ flipped the opposite direction for me at that moment to ‘LOVE HALLOWEEN’ and has been stuck there ever since. Every year my mother has made me a costume, and I’ve been everything from a pumpkin (I think every little kid has to go through at least one pumpkin Halloween), turtle, tree, mouse, witch, can can dancer, medieval princess, Queen Amidala, Ninja princess, Pirate, Sandra Dee, Princess Leia and many others that are escaping me at the moment. I LOVE Halloween.

This year I have options, but not really. I bought Princess Leia hair, basically hair ear muffs, and would love to have another go at being my favorite Princess and hopefully find my Han Solo. However, before I found the hair I had already roped my mother into making me yet another amazing costume. Nicole found this ‘Alice Lolita Poker Dress’ online, and I said, “hey mom, can you make me this?” She grumbled a little but, after many changes and modifications, made it for me. It is AMAZING. I will hold off on the pictures till after tomorrow, but let me just tell everyone right now, my mother is a wizard with fabric. My princess Leia dress is pretty much an exact replica of the one from the movie, and my new Card dress is equally fantastic.

Ok, you convinced me, I’ll show you the picture :)


Unfortunately the only plans I have for Halloween are going to work, but that’s ok. As long as I get to wear it, that’s all that matters. Nicole and I already have plans to get together somewhere somehow for the premiere of the new Alice in Wonderland movie, in costume of course. She will be Alice and I will be her deck of cards.

For those of you disappointed that you will have to wait a whole year to see my new Princess Leia buns in action, never fear, you will only have to wait about a week. My wonderful Auntie got tickets for us to go see Star Wars in Concert next weekend, and I think I have resolved to dress up for the occasion. Those buns did not come into my life for me to not wear them as soon as humanly possible! It is my duty as a fan girl to nerd out as much as possible at every opportunity I come across. I can’t wait.

In closing, happy Halloween world. I hope everyone has a spooky good time and posts tons of pictures. I know I will.



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spider lights

Lady Mountaineer is so bad ass.

You know how, in the wide world that is the Internet, that just about everyone and their mother has a blog? Well, for me this has come true. My mother, after months of talking about it, finally made herself a blog. I think it’s going to have a crafting focus, but basically be about anything and everything that’s going on with her and her new found quilt making passion. Really, she has been making quilts for ages. Look at this picture; it is from this past weekend when Nicole came to my house the night before we drove to Morgantown for Homecoming. That really is Nicole, even though all you can see are her golden locks, but look at the quilt she is under. Mom made that ages ago, not sure for who (probably James) of our pockets from old pairs of jeans. Awesome huh?


I remember when James and I were little it was at one point draped over this futon couch we had in our room between our beds with the pockets facing up. We would put action figures, pipe cleaner people, Caveman (James’ favorite toy), LEGOs, dinosaurs, Barbies and GI Joes in the pockets and pretend it was any number of things. A wall of pockets; think of the possibilities to the imagination of a young child with toys that could make a comfortable home of a pocket. Sharing a room was not all bad growing up, we had fun. I remember we used to take yarn and tie it to various points around the room, making a sort of web of string and then put little baskets on the string that our toys could ride in all around our room. We would cover the floor in dinosaurs and say that the humans had to live high up in order to not be eaten. It’s weird thinking of all the things we used to do in the very room I am now living in, alone, so long ago. We used to make tents too. Man we were cool.

Any who, I digress. My point to start with was that my mother has a blog, and you should all check it out. I might as well plug it since she washes my clothes and makes me Halloween costumes. Here it is:

OH MAN. So I was just talking about my brother and I playing in our room as kids, and what comes up on my i-tunes shuffle? The Imperial March of course. Hahah, funny. Yeah, we would also listen to the soundtrack to the Star Wars movies for hours on end nonstop all the time. I bet you all wish you shared a room with your younger brother up till you left for college now, don’t you?

Aforementioned, I went to Morgantown last weekend with Nicole for homecoming. The weirdest part of being back in town was not being back in town, it was the fact that it did not feel weird being back in town. We have really not been gone that long if you think about it, especially not me since I was there to visit Jen in July. As we drove to Morgantown at the crack of crack Friday morning in Nicole’s rental car, it felt like we were just coming back from a really long summer vacation or winter break. The weirder part was being homeless once we got there. We spent a lot of time in our rental car, affectionately named Creeper by Nicole due to its black color. We were just back at school, the place we spent the last 4 years of our lives, and nothing had changed. The dorm we watched go up near Summit was finished and there was a new parking garage at the Medical PRT station, but besides that, everything was the same. Except for us. Nicole has bangs now and my hair is short. And we are graduated.

Our whole reason for coming back for Homecoming, besides seeing everyone again, was to do Alumni Band. Basically that’s exactly what it sounds like; all the old Pride of West Virginia Alumni can come back once a year and march a little bit of pregame at the game. It was marvelously unorganized. There were about half the number of drill spots for the number of guard members who wanted to march, so we just all smashed together in clumps and wonky lines and pretended we were in a form. It was awesome to be back on the practice field, despite the rain (which really made the whole practice more authentic), with Nicole and all the crazy Bando Alumni. We got yelled at by the old Guardies because we remembered the routine and they didn’t, told not to spin or toss, and were shot down every time we tried to make a suggestion. Just like old times, if they can even be called old since it was just a year ago. Now that I think of it, I think the women who did the majority of the yelling probably did not mean to sound to mean. I think that might just be how she talks. Oh well, either way she sounded hostile, which just made us want to spin and do the routine even more, which we did.

There is not much about the game I can say that won’t sound cliché or nostalgically lame. I will say a little though, like how being on the field in front of all those people again was wonderful. Spinning on that field in front of those fans has been the only place where I’m not embarrassed or shy, where I am completely confident with myself and what I’m doing. The only place in the world, and I’ve been around the world. When the season ended last year, I was devastated at the thought of never being a part of that again, of never feeling that way again. But this weekend, I felt better. We preformed, the Alumni band sounded great, and after watching the video, the guard did not look half bad either. After we preformed we marched off the front sideline and watched the Pride perform, yelling at our friends and taking pictures like proud moms. Nicole and I taught some of those kids pregame, and there they were smiling and spinning, looking awesome. I thought I would be sad watching the band perform and not being a part of it, not being inside the Simple Gifts circle, not struggling to fit the diagonals and running to parenthesis, but I wasn’t. Being right there in the middle, the Alumni behind me, the Pride in front of me, made me feel like I was still a part of it all, and always would be. So now I don’t have to be sad, because once a year I can always come back and be a part of it all again. Marching Band is a feeling (like shopping:), my favorite feeling. There’s nothing like it.

Alright, enough of the sappiness. Now I’m home, I’ve got a cold, and I have to go to work. In a matter of days all sorts of things are happening. Tiffany is coming home, Halloween, and NanoWrimo. I still have no outline for my story; I guess I will do it at the last minute as usual. I did decide last night that my bad guy, who is a girl, is going to have huge eyes, like the girl in the My Chemical Romance music video of their song “I don’t love you.” Check it out, she is creepy and beautiful, and her eyes are gigantic. I guess that’s a start, a weak one, but better than nothing.


Well, I’m tapped out of topics for now. Speaking of taps, I posted a blog about our Oktoberfest on my other blog here: you should check it out. It rained then too. Every major thing that’s happened to me in my weird year off has included rain. Tiffany’s wedding, my Grandparent’s anniversary party, Oktoberfest, and Homecoming, all were wet occasions. What gives?

Happy Thursday,


Here is the link to the rest of my pictures from Homecoming, in case anyone is interested:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Snuggies are stupid.

Lots of fun things are happening. It’s finally cold outside for good, thank God, so I can keep the long sleeved shirts out for good. Now all I need to do is find my sweaters and I’ll be happy. I love sweaters.
Here are the fun things happening from now till the end of November:

Döner’s Oktoberfest

Homecoming/Nicole & Maria reunion extravaganza (there will be a music video).

NanoWrimo eating my brain.

Maria’s Wisconsin adventure, featuring Mary and Molly.

Funfunfunfun. I mean, my brain being eaten probably won’t be so fun, but that’s ok. By now I’m used to my Novembers being spent tearing my hair out, desperate for a plot and lacking enough hours in each and every precious day. For those of you who have not heard me talk about this before, here’s an explanation for you because I’m just that nice.

NanoWrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month which occurs every November. Nicole brought it to my attention two years ago and practically forced me to do it with her, but I’m glad she did. Basically the challenge is to write a novel in a month, precisely 50,000 words, which ends up being around 80 pages (with medium amounts of dialogue) single spaced (so…like 160 double spaced? Something like that). There is a website and everything. You make yourself a profile, pick a username and you are good to go. Every day, or however often you want to during the month you upload your current word count and watch the little bar under your name turn blue with every thousand words until the end of the month where it turns purple and declares you a winner. You can have writing buddies, chat with other writers on the site and pose questions about your story, about writing in general, or check your facts on the message boards. Overall it is a really cool thing and I highly recommend that everyone give it a try.

It’s much harder than you would think to get to 50,000 words, especially when you are racing someone. Nicole and I always race, I don’t know why or even remember how it started, but we do, which just makes it harder in the long run. IT would probably be easier if we didn’t race, but there’s no way that’s happening. I have won the last two years by like a day or so, it’s always really close, so I have a reputation to uphold. However, I’m not optimistic this year. I’m continuing a short story I’ve already written, so you would think it would be easy since all the characters already exist and the plot is set, but for some reason that’s just making it harder.

My story is fantasy (YA), and my big plan for November is creating a whole new world the characters go into, but this is turning out harder than I ever expected. Making a new world is HARD, there are so many things you need to take into account and rules you have to make and not break no matter what. And on top of the new world I have to make, I need a bad guy. I have an idea for her, basically just the fact that she is a ‘her’, but that’s it. I’m having a hard time not making her cliché and boring, that and I’ve never really written a story with a bad guy in it before.

I am actually realizing this for the first time right now. I’ve never written a really bad guy. I mean, I’ve written a few characters that turn out not good, but no one who is an actual villain. Some of my favorite characters out there are villains, or at least have villain like qualities (Severus Snape for example). I don’t even have a name for her yet, all I know is that she is a ‘her.’

When I actually wrote this blog, Oktoberfest was still happening. It’s over now, and it was cool, I will write about it more later. I have much more to say about everything else on that list, but I’m going to save them for later. Beth was complaining that I have not updated my blog in a while, so I figured I should give her something. I don’t want an angry Beth on my hands.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Apple Doughnuts

I’m at my grandparents house right now, dad’s side of the family. They are in DC this weekend and I’m staying here to keep the dog company. He’s so needy. But adorable, so it’s ok I guess. I’m going to be covered in dog hair from now till Monday.

I am pretending I’m an adult, and this is my house that I live in alone. I’m playing David Bowie really loud (The Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud, new favorite) and pretending this is my office and that I have the whole weekend ahead of me to hang out here and do what I wish. In my imaginary weekend I could do any number of things, hang out in bed all day reading the book I started the other day (Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman) or wander to all the different rooms of the house to read, any of the 4 bedrooms, trying out all the beds and seeing which natural lighting is best. I could hang out outside in the expansive backyard here, walk through the woods like we used to when we were kids, the cousins, brother and I, and see if there are any traces left of the many teepees we were always building. I would probably drive the golf cart through the long retired Christmas tree field, through all the new paths and remember.

Selling Christmas trees back in the day was the best job a kid could have, the best job anyone could have really. I don’t just have happy memories from those winter days; I have extraordinarily happy memories of those chilly pine smelling days. I don’t remember how many years we did it, or how old I was exactly, I just remember being absolutely one hundred percent happy driving the golf cart around and helping people drag their trees to the bailer and watching my dad and Granddaddy hook um’ up and watching as they magically became half their size with in the blue plastic netting. Grandmother sold hot cider and Christmas cookies at the little shack near the road as well as wreaths she made herself. I guess you could say mine and James’s job was customer service; we basically just looked cute and pretended we were helping them in some way.

I have this other memory of learning to spell my own name outside in the Christmas tree field. I know this memory must not be a real one, but it’s there none the less. I remember someone helping me write my name on a piece of paper and I rewrote it a few times, and when I finally got it without looking I wrote it really big on the other side and stuck it in a tree like a flag saying “look at me I can spell my own name!” Now, I’m sure the dates of the events and my age will not add up to support this memory, but you never know, I was always a little behind when it came to learning.

All I know is that selling Christmas trees is still to this day the most satisfying job I have ever had. Even when it was freezing cold and my little fingers were white and bloodless, even when I had sap on every part of my body, ruining whatever coat and gloves I was wearing, and even when people’s dogs barked at me, I loved it. I was excited to go every day and was sad to see the day end. I looked forward to it every year. The winter Grandmother and Granddaddy told us they were not selling Christmas tress anymore was the most disappointing winter of my life.

I can only hope I find another job someday that will make me as happy as selling Christmas trees did. In my fictional weekend I will go back in time (for anything can happen in fiction, especially on the weekends) and sell Christmas trees, even though it’s October and has not yet been truly cold. I will sleep in till eleven, read in bed till one, write a fantasy novel about the tiny people that live inside brilliant people’s ears and whisper them ideas all afternoon and then help a family of three pick out their perfect Christmas tree to fit their small house with extraordinarily tall ceilings and very little floor space.

"It's really Me
Really You
And really Me
It's so hard for us to really be
Really You
And really Me
You'll lose me though I'm always
really free"


Friday, September 25, 2009

Ich bin Maria, that's all I know.

Yesterday started my own personal Oktoberfest season, with a huge BANGGGG! I went with my bosses to the German Army’s annual Beerfest at Dulles Airport, and oh what a cool thing it was! 2,000 people, 2 bands, and an airplane hangar packed with Oktoberfest food, German beer and happy people, what more could you want? I know, this is not usually my scene, but despite that and my normal social anxieties, I had a fantastic time. We got there around 6:30 when the doors opened and did not leave till midnight when they were all but kicking us out, and I honestly could have stayed longer.

Nicole and I.

I just finished writing a blog about this for the Döner Bistro blog, but it is still waiting for approval. I’ll send the link when it’s up. Till then I’ll tell you about a few things I did not write about.

I was the designated driver, so I did not drink anything, but I can see why tickets for this thing are so coveted; as much free beer and food as you can handle. The lines for everything were really long, but went fast. I mostly spent the night wandering around, taking LOADS of pictures and talking with everyone in our group. I meet lots of new people, and some I probably should have known already from them coming by the restaurant.

At one point I found myself talking with a woman in the Alte Kameraden band who played trumpet. I was telling her about how much I love band and the Tuba when this really good looking older guy came up to her and joined in the conversation starting out with a question my way, “German or American?” It did not seem to matter what I answered, he smiled all the same. He was a member of the other band that was there, The German Army’s band that flew in from Germany just for this event and I think a few others around DC.

So we were just talking, me totally enjoying this guy's company with a stupid grin on my face. I mean, this guy was like Sean Connery, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman good looking. Before I knew it he had hijacked my camera and was taking pictures of me and everyone, all the while with that ridiculously good looking smile on his face. He called over one of his buddies from the band, a younger guy (by younger I mean like 30s I think) who I think played the flute, and kept taking pictures. Suddenly I was dancing with the flute player, being lead all over the place, spun and passed behind his back. He did not speak English very well, but I think he said that dancing was his hobby. I think his name was something like Gregory or Gregor, he said both names, but I could be wrong. Timo told me later that that’s not a very German name, but that does not really matter.

Gregory-Gregor and I.

Gregory-Gregor was super nice, but I think he was getting a little too attached. After each song he would ask “drink or dance?” like those were our only two options. He kept pointing at me to his buddies up with the band like “oh look at me I’m dancing with a girl!” which does not surprise me; I have a history of attracting those types of guys. But whatever, he was nice and I had a lot of fun dancing with him. At the end of the night he gave me a hug before he left saying, “I had a wonderful evening, I hope to see you in America!” Cute.

Anyway, it was an awesome night and I am extremely glad Timo and Nicole brought me with them. Tickets for this thing are crazy hard to get a hold of, usually they had to beg their friends for tickets but this year they got on a series of good lists and received their own. When we were leaving Timo asked me how many phone numbers I had collected. At first I had no idea what he was talking about, and then when he kept talking about it I figured it out. He just assumed I got phone numbers from Gergor and this other guy from our group I was talking to, funny! He seemed really concerned that I did not get any numbers and said, “next time just give them yours.” Well, next time, maybe I will.


This weekend I am going to Lovettsville’s Oktoberfest and then October 15th through 18th I’ll be at the Döner’s working. Fantastisch!

I slept in till almost 1 today and now it’s almost 7, where has the day gone? I always worry that I am not enjoying my days off to the fullest since I get so few of them, but really, I think sleeping all morning and doing nothing on the Internet all afternoon is a great day. I will probably go home, read my book for a while and then top off the day with a movie or something. I need to be more accepting of doing nothing. I need to embrace ‘Il bel far niente’ as they say in Italy, the beauty of doing nothing.

Alright, that’s all for now.



ps. here are my other pictures:

Here are the pictures Dan, the professional photographer in our mists took. way better than mine:

Here is the link to my Doener Blog post! :

Sunday, September 20, 2009


A ten I got in tips the other day. funny.

Recent Netflix movie categories:

~Critically-acclaimed goofy independent movies

~Imaginative SiFi fantasy from the 1980s

~Mind-bending Dramas based on contemporary literature

~Visually striking suspenseful action and adventure

~Gory end-of-the-world horror movies

Cool huh? Those are a bunch of good words. Gory, goofy, imaginative, mind-bending, I guess that’s what I like. If Netflix says it’s so, then it’s so. I’m a slave to online movie databases. I mean, not really since I don’t have lots of time to watch movies these days (so sad), but if I did, I would be.

I had an epiphany yesterday morning while cutting bread at work about where my favorite story I have ever written is going to go next. Cutting bread will do that to a person I’ve noticed; I always think of weird things while methodically slicing Döner bread by the box full for hungry Leesburgians (Leesburgites? Leesburgs? Leesburgers? Whatever). It really puts you in the zone, whatever zone that may be, and I usually end up wishing I had just one more box to cut.

So anyhow, my epiphany was about my first kids/young adult story I wrote a few years ago (has it really been that long??) and where it is going. This story has really taken me a long time to figure out. First it started with 6 pages and a really awesome idea, but I had no idea what to do with it. Then I figured it out, made it about 30 pages and thought it was done for a while. Then yesterday, it exploded in my head into a million new directions, sending the whole concept worldwide and into the history books. I am not going to say what my idea is here for fear someone might google search my blog and steal my idea. I am getting paranoid that someone is going to think of my idea and publish it before I get a chance to; that would be just my luck. But I like all you cool followers, so if you are really wondering, just ask me and I will let you know. I am going to need lots of feedback on it eventually.

The moral of the story is I’m feeling particularly inspired these days. I think it has to do with what I’ve been reading (well into Inkspell, the sequel to Inkheart, and loving every word of it) and the like. Reading a fairytale makes me think like I’m in a fairytale which makes the world look more like a fairytale, which has in turn inspired my own fairytale. Now that it’s getting colder and the leaves are turning to golds and coppers I have been getting the urge to go run around in the woods somewhere or just walk through fields pretending I’m on some epic quest to save the world, in costume of course. But who will quest with me? I can think of one person, but she is in Doylestown.

Speaking of living a fairytale, that reminds me of something I was thinking about the other day. Let me know if this has ever happened to you, but sometimes when I’m doing every day things like walking through the unfinished part of my house or taking out the trash at work I get this feeling like I could probably easily jump onto the roof or scale the wall with little effort. Ok, that probably did not make sense, I’ll try again. So for example, I was in the unfinished part of my house the other day balancing on a rolled up carpet and I stumbled. I easily regained my balance, but as I did I got this flashback feeling, almost like déjà vu (a glitch in the matrix!) feeling like I’ve done it before, but somewhere else. When I was balancing on the carpet I got a flashback to a time where I was running somewhere with crazy agility like a superhero, as if that has happened to me before. Assuming you are following me (which I really don’t think you are) I’ll tell you two reasons I think this happens to me.

I think I get this feeling for one of two reasons: one, I’ve watched too many movies, and two, I actually used to do that stuff when I was little. James and I used to run around all over the place in the yard, climbing trees and playing in the dirt, not getting tired with the energy only children seem capable of possessing. Back then I probably was at some point pretending I was being chased by some bad guy through the woods at my grandparent’s houses, dodging trees and trying to escape. I think my overactive imagination (as if such a thing exists) is what gives me these flashbacks and make me feel like I used to be a hero in another life. It’s because I was a hero in another life, a hero of my own games. Now that story only exists in fleeting flashes of fun times in the past, as if childhood was in another lifetime entirely.

My "seen too many movies" reason is just as likely. You know that feeling when you first get out of a really awesome movie at the theaters, like an amazing action adventure movie that had you on the edge of your seat for two hours, and you feel like you are still in it for a while? Well, sometimes for me that feeling will last a few days, a few wonderful days where everything I do feels cooler because in my mind I am in the movie still as a character. It effects the cloths I wear and the things I do, so I can see that causing false flashbacks to past heroics.

I have never tried explaining this feeling in words before, and I don’t think I did a very good job here, but please let me know if this has ever happened to you.

Signing off now from outside a closed coffee shop on yet another weird Sunday.

“Can you feel it
Feel it in the air,
The wind is taking it everywhere, yeah”


Monday, September 14, 2009

"Books have to be heavy because the whole world's inside them."

When was the last time you read a book that demanded all of your attention from the moment you opened it to the second your eyes read the last page? That’s where I am right now, two hundred pages into a five hundred page young adult novel that won’t let me think of anything else. It’s a greedy sort of book, one that forces you to think of only it’s story and makes you abandon all the things you ‘should’ be doing in order to pay it more attention. This book was calling to me before I even opened it, when it was still just another red cover on my shelf. It made me, practically at gun (or sword) point, stop reading the book I had currently committed to and pick it up. Now I’m trapped, trapped in its enchanting story and loving every moment of it.

The book I’m referring to is Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart, the fantastical tale of a book loving father (Mo) and daughter (Meggie) and the adventures they get into. Mo has the amazing talent of being able to read characters and things out of books just by reading aloud. I am not going to say anything about the story because I would hate to spoil anything for all you future readers out there. All I will say is that if I did not have to go to work today I would undoubtedly be at home in bed reading Inkheart, in heaven.

One major reason I think I love this book so much, besides the story and overall premise (it was clearly written by a book lover, about book lovers, specifically for book lovers) is the character Dustfingers. I saw the movie of this book first, something I usually hate doing, but in this case it worked in my favor. The movie was good, but it left me knowing that the book must be better. I was right, it is, but the one thing that the movie did right was casting Dustfingers. He is played by Paul Bettany (from such films as A Knights Tale, A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code) and is perfect. That being said, I don’t know if I would recommend that everyone watch the movie first or read the book, it will have to be your call. All I can say is that I LOVE picturing Paul Bettany while I read, which makes me glad I did it in the order I did.

That’s all I wanted to say today. I will leave you with a bunch of random picture I have been taking lately, for your amusement.

Beth took this one.